A new report commissioned by the New York State Assembly found “overwhelming evidence” that former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed state employees.
The report, released Monday, was ordered by State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie as part of an impeachment inquiry into the sexual harassment allegations, the purposeful under-counting of nursing home COVID-19 deaths and Cuomo’s instruction that state employees contribute to his book during work hours.
Cuomo resigned from office in August rather than face impeachment. He has been accused of sexual harassment by at least eleven women, including multiple assistants in his office and a state trooper on his protective detail. A report released by state Attorney General Letitia James buttressed those claims, and the former governor was charged with a misdemeanor sex crime in October. (RELATED: ‘Gratifying His Sexual Desires’: Andrew Cuomo Charged With Sex Crime For Allegedly Groping Woman)
The new report, conducted by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, focuses primarily on accusations made by the state trooper and a former executive assistant, Brittany Commisso. It also details ten other instances of alleged sexual harassment.
Cuomo “touched [the state trooper] inappropriately on multiple occasions – including by running his finger slowly down her spine, running his hand across her stomach, kissing and hugging her, and making numerous inappropriate and offensive comments to her,” according to the report. He also reportedly told her “not to tell ‘anyone about [their] conversations.'”
The trooper added that she felt “completely violated” and was “in shock” after Cuomo allegedly touched her, according to the report. Cuomo denied remembering the incident in question, but added, “if she said I did it, I believe her.”
Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment of Commisso “began with flirtatious and sexually suggestive comments, and escalated to hugging her tightly, kissing her on the cheek, sometimes turning his head to brush her lips, touching her buttocks on multiple occasions, massaging her buttocks while taking a ‘selfie’ with her, and reaching under her shirt and groping her breast,” according to the report. Similarly, he reportedly asked the assistant ‘not to share ‘the things that have gone on,’ stating that it could get him in ‘big trouble.'”
Despite Cuomo’s denials of the alleged groping, phone records, key card swipes and emails “corroborate Ms. Commisso’s recollection,” the report noted. Furthermore, Davis Polk did “not identify any material inconsistencies between or among” descriptions provided by Commisso to Davis Polk, James’ investigators, or the Albany Times Union.
“We conclude that there is overwhelming evidence that the former Governor engaged in sexual harassment,” the report stated.
Despite his resignation and pending criminal charges, Cuomo has considered a political comeback. A poll conducted in October found him with 19% support in a hypothetical Democratic primary matchup with James, current Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City public advocate Jumaane Williams.